Imagine releasing a critically acclaimed album only to be told you aren’t eligible to be nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize and BRIT awards, let alone win them; all because apparently you aren’t British enough. For Japanese-born British singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama, being told she couldn’t even qualify for consideration for an award so clearly deserved is obviously nothing less than heart breaking. After living in the UK for 25 years and holding indefinite leave to remain in the country, why do the BPI rules deny her this accolade for which she has so evidently been snubbed? Continue reading What makes you BRITish enough: Why Rina Sawayama called out the Music Industry
A Blaze of Feather is a one-man indie band from West Cornwall with a new album release called Labyrinth. I spoke to band member Mickey Smith about the album, being a musician during the pandemic and what he might be planning next. Continue reading Interview: Mickey Smith from A Blaze of Feather
I wasn’t familiar with Cornish band A Blaze of Feather until my interview with band member Mickey Smith, but I’m glad I’ve made this discovery. It’s refreshing. The new album LABYRINTH is strong as a whole, but for me the highlight is the titular track ‘Labyrinth’. This single is likely to be popular with a lot of fans of indie music. Smith’s vocals are unique – calming but with a sense of power. The guitar is catchy and works especially well with the chorus. The instrumentation as a whole is extremely effective. Continue reading Single Review: ‘Labyrinth’ by A Blaze of Feather
From familiar folk-rock instrumentals spring songs of the self. Bob Dylan’s 39th studio album Rough and Rowdy Ways was released on June 19th, to high praise from critics and fans alike. Listeners have found in these songs a window to escape lockdown through — and yet, like all of Dylan’s greatest albums, this one refuses to turn away from reality. Continue reading Review: Rough and Rowdy Ways by Bob Dylan
I remember the first time I listened to Melodrama; in the dark of my bedroom on release night, with the volume up full. When Lorde told us she was about to “make em’ all dance to it”, she wasn’t lying. Three years on, this is still an album I revisit regularly. With her vocals, song writing, and production melting together to construct a soundtrack of adolescent loneliness, Melodrama deserves all the critical acclaim it receives. Continue reading Melodrama and Me
Here are some of the new releases I’ve been enjoying during lockdown! Some nice (sad and happy) quarantunes. There’s a link to a playlist at the end if you’d like to listen to them.
‘A Hero’s Death’ – Fontaines D.C.
Dogrel instantly became one of my favourite albums last year, so I was very excited to hear how Fontaines D.C.’s sound would take shape on their new album. The first single from the album, ‘A Hero’s Death’, definitely defied my expectations. I didn’t think I’d ever focus on the harmonies of a post-punk song but the ‘ba ba ba’ backing vocals really made the track for me. The way they clash with the guitar and bass line gives off a kind of spooky feel. I am very eager to hear how the rest of the album will sound.
Continue reading Playlist: Quarantunes
Charli XCX announced that she was working on her fourth album via a zoom call with fans on April 6th, giving herself the close deadline of May 15th. At a few points in the month it felt as though meeting this deadline would be a close call, but once again, Charli has lived up to the hype and released an 11-track record reflecting on life in quarantine in California. Before I press play, I think we need to acknowledge that this was written, produced, and released in the space of 39 days. OF COURSE, it would be Charli to set herself this challenge while living through a pandemic. With her third full album release being only 8 months ago, I think this album proves that she deserves all the credit she gets for being one of the most innovative, hardworking people in music at the moment. Continue reading Review: how i’m feeling now by Charli XCX
What are mornings? What is time? Should I bother getting out of bed, or have I fused with my duvet? If, like me, you’re finding mornings a little pointless and frankly insulting, here are some chilled out motivational tracks. Not so upbeat that you’ll feel ready to run that 5k your mate just tagged you in, but gently rousing. Songs to make toast to. Continue reading My Quarantine Playlist: Morning Bops
The New Abnormal sees The Strokes return seven years after their last studio album, with a sound that will take fans back to the band’s glory days in the ‘00s. Continue reading Album Review: The New Abnormal by The Strokes
There’s something about Laura Marling’s bucolic folk sound and sharp British accent that makes listening to her music feel so personal, so homey, and yet provides a world to escape into. She’s even commented herself on her “uncanny” sound, and, as a three-time Mercury Prize nominee in the twelve years she’s been active, you’d think she’d know a thing or two.
I’ve been a fan of Marling’s music since her Short Movie era in 2015, although I didn’t realise that her debut album, Alas, I Cannot Swim, was released in 2008 when she was only eighteen! Continue reading Review: A Song for Our Daughter by Laura Marling